May 21, 2024 - - Benjamin Schneider -

For a long time, the dream of bringing high-speed rail to the US was a lot of talk and not much action. But now, finally, rails are being laid.

In April, Brightline, the private company behind the “higher-speed” rail system between Orlando and Miami, broke ground on a true high-speed rail project connecting Las Vegas and Southern California with trains that can hit 200 miles per hour. Brightline West joins California High-Speed Rail, which has been under construction for nearly a decade, dogged by delays and cost overruns. That project aims to eventually link San Francisco and Los Angeles, with an initial segment in the state’s Central Valley targeted to open in the early 2030s. Meanwhile, Amtrak’s current fastest train, the Acela service on the Northeast Corridor, is getting a slate of improvements that should reduce Boston to Washington trip times by an hour in 2035.

Next up could be Texas, where Amtrak recently resurrected a long-planned high-speed rail project connecting Dallas and Houston.

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Photo credit: Texas Central